It was their Waterloo (UPDATED)

Filed in National by on September 9, 2009

With two shouted words tonight, the Republican Party has lost all respect, credibility, integrity and honor. And with those two words, one Congressman from South Carolina proved that the Republican Party is nothing but the insane conservative fringe. It can no longer be denied. Never before in my lifetime, and perhaps longer, has a member of Congress screamed “YOU LIE” at the President of the United States during a nationally televised Presidential Address to a Joint Session of Congress. The irony was that this occurred while the President was calling out the lies, and easily proven lies, of reform detractors: that reform will create death panels and would provide coverage for illegal immigrants. Those charges are lies, Congressman Joe Wilson is a liar and he knows it, and yet he had the ultimate disrespect to scream at the President tonight, calling the President a liar.

Republicans all wanted President Obama to have a “Waterloo” over healthcare reform. It is now their Waterloo, and the only way to repair the damage that Joe Wilson did to the GOP tonight is for him to resign in disgrace immediately. Fuck his apology, I don’t want it, for it will not be sincere or honest. He must resign and all respectful and civil Republicans must demand it.

Update: A conservative blogger from Virginia, who speaks like I do, agrees with me:

That was fucking unprofessional….and the more I think about it, the madder I get. Who the hell yells in the middle of a Presidential address? On the floor of Congress, no less? This ain’t the 18th-19th century, where that type of behavior may have been acceptable. That ship’s sailed, dude. I’m all for dissent, but all you succeeded in doing is make yourself look the fool.

I’m not going to touch the implications of this for the GOP as a whole. It’s too late at night to write that post, and frankly, I’m too mad to write it coherently. But know that you’ve done a disservice to damn near everyone who can make a coherent argument against the President’s healthcare plan, without resorting to the “death panel”-esque talking points.

You’ve probably earned censure, at a minimum. God help me, but I’d agree with Speaker Pelosi if she chose that route. And, yeah, you should apologize.

You aren’t a hero. I’m going to stop short of calling you a villian.

But that wasn’t helpful. At all.

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  1. He won’t resign. I hope he loses. Give to his opponent:

    McCain has called for Wilson to apologize. Wilson is basically using the teabagger tactics.

  2. I wonder if Wilson is a birther or deather?

  3. Political Observer says:

    Did anyone else get the sense they were watching Prime Minister’s question day at Parliament and not a speech by the President before a joint session of Congress?

    And it wasn’t just the Wilson shout out. A member of Congress was holding up a sign on the floor. I did not get to read it, but hope someone captured the content. Has anyone ever heard cat calls from the floor during a presidential address?

    It is now official that the Republican Party has no respect for the office of the President.

  4. pandora says:

    I’m stunned. As a political junkie I have watched all of the Presidential Addresses since Reagan, and I have never – NEVER – seen such behavior. There is no excuse.

  5. cassandra_m says:

    ActBlue has a donation page for Miller too. I think that this is a dKos refer, but still.

    Go toss some coins Miller’s way.

  6. anon says:

    Joe Wilson should have stayed in bed like Brian Wilson did.

  7. Here’s video of the moment:

  8. Truth Teller says:

    Lighten up folks just remember this ass is from South Carolina could we expect any thing different

  9. anon says:

    Don’t worry. Allan Loudell will report that Joe Wilson may have a legitimate point tomorrow during drive time and centrists will agree that the real truth about who is lying is unknowable.

  10. Delaware Dem says:

    No, TT, I expect a Congressman to listen respectfully to the President of the United States. You cheer his points or boo some points, as both parties have done during Presidential speeches in the past. But to scream like a petulant child “YOU LIE” is not something we must accept or tolerate.

    Wilson must resign, or else he, along with his fellow liars, are the new faces of the Republican Party.

  11. pandora says:

    Thanks, anon. Now I’m going to have nightmares. 😉

  12. Delaware Dem says:

    If Allan Loudell does that, then he too is a liar. It is easy proven that the reform legislation does not provide coverage to illegals. It is Section 46. If Allan Loudell cannot do his job as a journalist, then he too is a liar.

  13. pandora says:

    Take a breath, DD. Find your center.

  14. farsider says:

    Give that man a medal.

  15. liberalgeek says:

    do they have a medal of dishonor?

    Incidentally, he has called the White House to apologize and the poor sod ended up talking to Rahm Emanuel. That would have been a call to tap.

  16. farsider says:

    I still say give the one honest man a friggin medal. No reason a man being fed a sh*t sandwich has to smile.

  17. anon says:

    Awesome. Now he is going to have to apologize to Rush for apologizing to the President.

  18. pandora says:

    It won’t save him. People are shocked, really shocked at this tea bagger town hall behavior.

  19. anon says:

    Real Republican salt of the Earth types like farsider should be giving this Joe Wilson guy hell for this treachery.

    “My comments were inappropriate and regrettable. I extend sincere apologies to the president for this lack of civility.”

    Wilson is, no doubt, a socialist or possibly a black socialist.

  20. anon says:

    Hellooo….McFly….They answer to God’s law.

  21. Not Brian says:

    I love the righteous indignation…

    Quite frankly I would have blown Dennis Kucinich if he had done it to Bush over the Iraq war back in ’02 or ’03…

    What’s the deal? Is he fucking royalty?

    The guy has every right to look like an ass… you sound like a bunch of whiners!

  22. Geezer says:

    “Allan Loudell will report that Joe Wilson may have a legitimate point tomorrow during drive time ”

    Allan Loudell is off until next week.

    “I still say give the one honest man a friggin medal. No reason a man being fed a sh*t sandwich has to smile.”

    This is spam. Farsider is another right-wing commenter who never contributes anything but spam. Notice there is no reference here to how Obama’s statement was a lie. It’s not a statement designed to produce debate; it’s a statement designed to sow discord.

  23. Geezer says:

    “you sound like a bunch of whiners!”

    So do you.

  24. Von Cracker says:

    at least the re-re didn’t scream for Obama’s papers.

  25. liberalgeek says:

    NB – that is BS. Nevermind the fact that Kucinich didn’t behave like this, if he had, he would have been roundly criticized. You may disagree, absolutely, but if you behave like this you are being disrespectful to the President, the office of the President and to the democracy that we have here.

    It isn’t that he disagreed with Obama, it is that he did so inappropriately.

  26. Von Cracker says:

    it would be ok in most other parliaments through….it’s just not done here, usually.

  27. liberalgeek says:

    Really? I have never heard an MP call a PM a liar during one of those raucous reports by the PM.

    And in some places in the world, fistfights break out on the floor. Perhaps that is next.

  28. Not Brian says:

    “Nevermind the fact that Kucinich didn’t behave like this, if he had, he would have been roundly criticized.”

    I guess my point is I would have preferred if he had.

    “You may disagree, absolutely, but if you behave like this you are being disrespectful to the President, the office of the President and to the democracy that we have here.”

    Well, when you make it sound so serious, now I hope they give him detention…

    I’m worried about the Fed balance sheet over $2TLN. I am worried about two wars and the human and economic cost. I am worried about the shitty ‘compromise’ bill crafted by the special interests that we are going to get as an excuse for a health care bill (yeah! will cost billions AND provide nothing in the way of savings! A two-fer!).

    I could give a shit if a wingnut douche demonstrates he is a douche. And I think Obama is a big boy, he’ll get over it (he’ll get over what will likely be the biggest PR coup of his entire publicity campaign for health care that was handed to him by a wingnut).

    I don’t have a king. I don’t care about this at all…

  29. liberalgeek says:

    So do you think that your concerns will be met with reasoned debate or with people shouting liar across the room at each other? Jesus, the behavior is reprehensible and you give some piffle about Obama not being a king? What a crock of shit.

    Have you been drinking heavily?

  30. Von Cracker says:

    you need to watch PM Questions on CSPAN 7.

  31. cassandra_m says:

    That was amazing until you think about it as the act of thuggery that it was — then you’ll remember that is what they do when there no longer is an argument to make. Sheer thuggery.

    And I seem to remember that a President during wartime is supposed to command all kinds of additional deference or that was true for the past several years…

  32. Roy Munson says:

    yes, but the PM questions are expected to end up like that.

    having a joint session of congress speech by the president turn in to a town hall meeting is not going to be helpful for anybody in this country to get problems addressed.

    He apologized, and it’ll be heard on talk shows for the next week or so, then it’ll be forgotten like Cheney telling Pat Leahy to go “F-ck himself” on the floor.

  33. liberalgeek says:

    Nah Cassandra… If the guy had gotten up and slapped Nancy Pelosi across the face during the speech, NB would just say that he doesn’t care if an asshole shows what an asshole he is. He just cares about getting the deficit down and the two wars. Then he will say some shit about how he wishes Kucinich had punched Cheney in the head.

    Decorum and respect are so overrated.

  34. cassandra_m says:

    CNN Poll:

    CNN Poll on Obama plan: pre-speech 53% favor/36 oppose…post speech 67 favor/29 oppose.

    CNN Poll: 72% of speech watchers said Obama “Clearly stated his health care goals”

  35. xstryker says:

    farsider is a douche incapable of thinking for himself.

  36. Not Brian says:

    “NB would just say that he doesn’t care if an asshole shows what an asshole he is. He just cares about getting the deficit down and the two wars. Then he will say some shit about how he wishes Kucinich had punched Cheney in the head.”

    I would really expect a better response… very Protak/RWR-esque. Very witty.

    Do you really think this is that important? You a fan of the drama in politics (rather than the actual shit these people are doing)?

    I’ll make sure to express feigned outrage so I can be a good liberal like you! Though all of this is noise and has nothing to in any material way with any issue.

    This was the biggest gift they ever could have given Obama on this issue. Celebration rather than a stern disapproval is in order.

  37. Not Brian says:

    And drop the HST picture now that you are the hall monitor.

    Aren’t you offended by everything he EVER wrote?

    He was not exactly a decorum and respect proponent…

    So are you putting that up to be hip or are arguing with me for the sake of defending your post?

  38. liberalgeek says:

    Did you read the chapter of Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail of 72 where he had unfettered access to the sitting President of the United States (Richard Nixon, whom HST despised) and yet he was civil and respectful. Get it? There is a time and place for things, this violated that and showed the deep-seated disrespect that many in the part of no have for Obama. It was laid bare.

    While it certainly will help things for Obama, it is a threshold that should not have been crossed. You want to just let it float by and anyone that notices is a whiner. That is what you and I disagree on.

    And this isn’t my post.

  39. This is so rude! I have read the bill, and Obama is NOT the Liar here!

  40. If a liberal had done that to Bush, you would have called it “speaking truth to power.”

    When a conservative does it to obama, you shriek.

    And given that the 47 Million uninsured figure so often cited includes illegals, either Obama needs to revise his talking points or admit that his plan DOES include coverage for illegals.

  41. Delaware Dem says:

    Bullshit, RWR. And if a liberal had done that to Bush, in Congress, you would have called for his arrest and deportation to Gitmo.

    And you are a liar as well, since the bill, in plain english for any who can read (I suppose you Rethuglicans are so stupid that literacy is no longer a skill of yours) specifically and explicitly forbids coverage of illegal immigrants.

  42. pandora says:

    Face it, RWR, Wilson embarrassed and hurt Republicans. You guys should be (very publicly) throwing him under the bus – but I won’t hold my breath, since you’ll probably call him a Truth Warrior – or some other silly name.

    And it isn’t the liberal opinion of the event which should concern you – it’s the center. Wilson just confirmed what liberals have been saying about conservatives – that Rs are thugs who shout down opposition. Thanks for the poster boy!

  43. anonone says:

    More lies and nonsense from Rhymey. Unlike most of your ilk who may not be smart enough to recognize the dishonesty of their own talking points, you are smart enough to know and your lies are calculated and deliberate. You know it; I know it; everybody here knows it.

    No wonder that you think lying about sex and having affairs is just fine.

    The fact is that no liberal did that to Bush even when he WAS lying. And many of your fellow repubs even had the good sense to “shriek” last night. It wasn’t a “conservative to Obama;” it was a Congressman to the President of the United States during a rare joint session of Congress.

    Too bad that lying goes with your literacy.

  44. Delaware Dem says:

    The conservatives just can’t help themselves. They hate Obama so much they are cutting off their noses to spite their face.

    And by the way, here is Karen Tumulty in Time Magazine, hardly a liberal publication, calling Joe Wilson and all who defend him liars:

    The President’s seemingly simple statement, that “the reforms I am proposing would not apply to those who are here illegally,” is not hard to check. In the Senate Finance Committee working framework for a health plan, which Obama’s speech seemed most to mimic, there is the line: “No illegal immigrants will benefit from the health care tax credits.” Similarly, the major health care reform bill to pass out of committee in the House, H.R. 3200, contains a Section 246, which is called, “NO FEDERAL PAYMENT FOR UNDOCUMENTED ALIENS.”

  45. pandora says:

    I just donated to Miller (Wilson’s opponent), and it felt great!

  46. anonone says:

    I can respect that someone disagrees with me. I can respect when somebody lies out of ignorance. But what we see from many (or maybe most) repubs is willful, deliberate, and calculated lying. And not just about affairs, but about our health and safety as a nation and a world.

  47. Progressive Mom says:

    Joe Wilson is very, very afraid of the people: his website has been down for maintenance since last night.

    I guess he believes that words hurt.

    Silly boy.

  48. Mark H says:

    PM, I’m guessing that his website either got a lot of hits, or that his website is suffering from a DOS attack. Either one would take down his website….

  49. Progressive Mom says:

    …yeah, Mark, it could….but ain’t it convenient for the dear old boy that it’s down…. funny how that happens. I wonder if the switchboard will be taking calls today; perhaps that will be down, too.

  50. A. price says:

    just donated to Miller.
    remember back in nov when Michelle “holy crap what a bat-shit crazy paranoid right wing bitch THAT woman is” Bachmann made her “investigation into un-american members of government” comment? her opponent got something like 50k in donations in a week nd went from more that 30 points under to hardly loosing to her just 2 weeks later…. well people we have a little more than a year to take out Joe “tea-bag town hall” Wilson

  51. Rebecca says:

    For eight years the Democrats swallowed hard and kept reminding themselves that they were the “loyal” opposition. After eight months the Republicans have discarded any loyalty to our country and last night demonstrated they are the screaming, self-serving, opposition.

  52. Rebecca says:

    In the race to the bottom, one wonders if South Carolina is trying to out-Texas Texas. First Sanford,now Wilson. The good people of S.C. have their work cut out for them next year.

    As Jason330 would say, if he were here, f$%# S.C.

  53. anonone says:

    Alright, Rebecca! Channelling Jason! You go!

  54. cassandra_m says:

    Looks like Wilson raised about $75K for his ex-Marine opponent last night.

  55. So, some US Reps and Sens from the R-party have responded to Wilson’s outburst as shameful, unfortuante, etc. They should! Hey, Wilson may be remorseful and I actually believe he is, but this is becoming way too common for some big event followed by remorse. My question is, where is Steele or the chair of the SC GOP? These are the two directly-affected leaders of the outburst. Complacency is acceptance. Dickweeds.

  56. all things in moderation says:

    it is much classier when a Democrat congrescritter gives gallery tickets to Code Pink so they can yell at the president.

  57. ATiM – Your point taken, but an elected member of Congress should hold him/herself to a much higher standard of decorum in that setting, MUCH HIGHER.

  58. Oh dear God. Clinton was booed, too (not like Philly sports boo, but booed). When is the supposed principles of the party going to take over and stand above this line? I DON’T GIVE A RAT’S ASS WHAT HAPPENED BEFORE. GROW THE EFF UP! Last night, we saw a standing, elected Republican Representative of the US Congress SINGULARLY call out the President as a LIAR in the halls of Congress during a nationally televised speech. Stop with the ‘they did it, too’ rhetoric. Can’t anyone in politics grow the fuck up? I give my kids a time out for that behavior!!!

  59. all things in moderation says:

    LIE is a strong word, how about factually challenged…

    By CALVIN WOODWARD and ERICA WERNER, Associated Press Writers Calvin Woodward And Erica Werner, Associated Press Writers – Thu Sep 10, 3:15 am ET
    WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama used only-in-Washington accounting Wednesday when he promised to overhaul the nation’s health care system without adding “one dime” to the deficit. By conventional arithmetic, Democratic plans would drive up the deficit by billions of dollars.

  60. Ya gotta love those talkin' points says:

    Oh, gosh, Mr. Mod, there was LOTS of booing at the president last night! There were cute little hand made signs being waved; there was another Republican member who shouted “read the bill” during the speech; and there was clear “ha”-ing when the president said he didn’t want to put insurance companies out of business.

    Or were you listening with the sound off?

  61. Miscreant says:

    Not quite as direct, but just as disrespectful to the Office of the President:

  62. Wilson called Obama a LIAR via shouting it out during the speech. Why do you deflect the topic here? What’s sad, is you are likely someone whom I have stood to the side with before. By deflecting, you condone Wilson’s behavior.

  63. Ya gotta love those talkin' points says:

    Oh-oh: Mis and Mr. Mod didn’t divvy up today’s talking points appropriately…they both linked to realclearpolitics.

    Is that where you are getting your posting assignments?

  64. anonone says:

    All the repubs have apparently lined up to get their talking points and links at the same place this morning.

  65. Again, ‘they did it too’ is a childish justification. When are the mighty principles of the party going to kick in and bring this behavior above the line? Is there no personal responsibility any more?

  66. pandora says:

    You’re correct, Smitty. The they do it, too excuse doesn’t fly in my house.

    Wilson crossed a line last night. More problematic for the Rs is – in that one moment – he confirmed what Ds have been saying about the GOP. Again, my advice to the Rs is to throw this guy under the bus and try to move on.

  67. anonone says:

    Aren’t you glad you’re not “one of them” anymore, iSmitty?

  68. I love how the Republicans use shifting standards as their judge of behavior. “Other people do it too” is the defense of the supposed party of moral values.


    Shorter Karen Tumulty: Congressman Joe Wilson, READ THE BILL!

    Joe Wilson is lying. I see no problem with saying that. He accused the president of lying yet we’re not supposed to be so harsh? Stuff it.

  69. farsider says:

    Wilson’s behavior isn’t to be condoned. It is to be applauded.

  70. cassandra_m says:

    Dana Milbank over at the WaPo apparently watched the Republicans in the chamber last night and there’s more shenanigans that didn’t get to the TV I guess.

    Thinking about Smitty’s question re: where are the GOP Leadership voices — I was listening to the BBC this AM talking about this speech and its reaction to it. The newsreader was asking an American reporter about how it is that there could be such an over the top reaction and pushback on stuff that is already known and demonstrated to be not true. The reporter had a difficult time with this question, but basically there is a significant minority that is so invested in an untrue and conspiratorial view of the world that they can elect some people who think like them or there are pols whose constituents are enough of these people that they take on their coloring. The reporter was definitely appalled at having to explain how this deep vein just plain lies is a part of the conversation. And not did the reporter discuss the media’s complicity in this.

  71. Miscreant says:

    No justification (childish or otherwise), just stating that it happened then, as it happened now.

    “When are the mighty principles of the party going to kick in and bring this behavior above the line?”

    Let me guess… Now?

  72. BTW, last I saw Rob Miller has raised more than $100K with more than 3K donors since last night. Act Blue, Rob Miller SC-02

  73. “When are the mighty principles of the party going to kick in and bring this behavior above the line?”

    Let me guess… Now?

    You are far more optimistic than me, mis. Unless, of course, you are thinking that there will be a dog-and-pony show to make it appear that way, but in the end, nothing really changes. In that case, then you’d be pessimistic just like me.

  74. all things in moderation says:

    RWR, you are more tollerant of the pretend outrage than I am.

  75. ATiM – For over six years, many on the right screamed “Respect the office of the President,” to which I agreed. Last night, I still screamed, “Respect the office of the President!” You, obviously, did not join in this time. My arguments aren’t of convenience, they are of morals and conviction.

  76. donviti says:

    I just think the point here is not that he did it, but that once again the standards they set, they don’t abide by.

    I would have loved to have someone call out president bush while he lied his ass off during a speech.

    On nbc this morning they were actually questioning the “lie” that the idiot was talking about. It moved the discussion to the actual topic, which is good.

    The problem here is that Obama isn’t a liar and this guy is.

    If in fact the president is a Liar, I’m all for yelling and calling him out. That’s what I elect my reps to do…rep me

  77. nemski says:

    No one, absolutely no one, could rep you donviti!

  78. DV – I do agree, but that’s not the forum for it, though. Opportunities abound elsewhere.

  79. Geezer says:

    Republicans continually reveal that their “principles” shift to suit their purpose. What is “you did it first” but an example of the “relative morality” that they claim have destroyed our society?

  80. shortstuff says:

    Who gives a sh* what the right thinks at this point? If this dynamic momentum continues into next year (and we should make sure it does) they’ll be right where they are now or worse… I’m betting on the latter…

  81. nemski says:

    Geezer, the “you did it first” excuse doesn’t work with our children, why should it work with Republicans?

    Agree with shortstuff right now. Is it important what farsider thinks? Nah, he’s part of a Regional Racist Party.

  82. Geezer says:

    My point exactly, Nemski. It’s a childish argument, as well as an embrace of the relative morality they claim to despise. They claim to believe in absolute morality — right is right and wrong is wrong, no exceptions. In reality, they adhere to relative morality more than any liberal does. Torture? Not intrinsically wrong, apparently, as long as the victim is a terrorist — everybody knows they’d treat American captives much worse, so that makes it OK.

    In other words, they are liars, even to themselves.

  83. h. says:

    Liars on the left, liars on the right. If you disagree , you too, are a liar.

  84. nemski says:

    h. doesn’t comment on the issue at hand.

  85. nemski,

    It’s just another version of the same childish argument that it’s o.k. because others do it too.

  86. pandora says:

    I just figured out that the problem with kids today should read… the problem with Republican kids today. Obviously we have an entire generation who thinks they can do whatever they want as long as someone else did it – their parents say so.

    Seriously, if you spout this nonsense (cheating and lying Rs are okay b/c Clinton cheated and lied, etc.) in your home then don’t be surprised when your kids cheat and lie. Also, don’t be surprised when they sneer at intellectuals and don’t even try to get into Harvard because it’s elitist.

  87. Since you guys have indicated that any disrespect of George W. Bush would have resulted in imprisonment at Gitmo, please supply a complete list of US citizens interned at Guantanamo Bay for political speech during the Bush years.

  88. nemski says:

    Over on, John Feehery summed up why we as a country respect the President:

    We treat the office of president with the utmost respect because we hope that the president will return the favor.